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EPA’s War on Coal Deadlines Irrational

November 16, 2011
By The Intelligencer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

American Electric Power's Muskingum Power Plant in Ohio will be closed within three years, not because it has outlived its usefulness and not because it is impossible for the facility to meet federal air pollution limits. It will be shuttered because President Barack Obama and his Environmental Protection Agency are more concerned with destroying the coal industry than with clean air.

The plant is old and lacks pollution control equipment needed to comply with the EPA's new Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. AEP officials say "scrubbers" could be installed at the coal-fired Muskingum Plant - but not in time to meet the EPA's deadline. So, the facility will be closed.

That makes no sense. A serviceable plant providing relatively economical power is being shut down because Obama's EPA won't allow enough time for it to be retrofitted. It will be replaced by more expensive power generated, perhaps, by natural gas at a newer plant.

Conservatives in Congress are attempting to block such assaults by the EPA. One bill, introduced by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Dan Coats, R-Ind., would give power companies more time to comply with the new rule. Obviously, the bill should be enacted.

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